S (aged 7) and her mum were referred to CandYP as mum was finding it difficult to talk to S about the domestic abuse that had happened between her and S’s father. She also felt S was holding back from talking about what had happened and wanted to encourage her to be more open.

Mum and S completed the CandYP programme together, which comprised of 6 sessions lasting 1 hour each. After the introduction session mum spoke about S not being sure of what she could say in front of her mum as she doesn’t want to upset her.

As sessions progressed S was reassured by myself and her mum that she could talk about her dad and her memories. We completed games and feelings based activities designed to help them open up about how they are feeling and why.

We completed a family tree and added emojis to the different people, mum encouraged S to add her dad and how she felt about him, which was difficult for them, but they both wanted to do it. They also completed a story time line with key moments in their lives together. This was typed up into story pages for them to keep.

As a result of our support, mum was able to talk with S about some of their past experiences and she had the opportunities she needed to talk about her memories and to know that is was ok to talk about her dad when she needs to, and also to talk with her mum about her feelings in general.

Mum and S both said in the feedback that they now feel a lot closer, and find it easier to talk about their emotions. Mum reported feeling a lot closer as a whole family and that they were feeling positive about the future.